By Gary Fulcher, Daniel Rhodes and Mihail Vladimirov.
Liverpool experienced more Capital One Cup drama on Tuesday evening with late goals from Mario Balotelli and Dejan Lovren cancelling out Marvin Emnes’ 65th minute opener for Swansea, and in doing so booked our place in the quarter-finals, without the need of extra-time and penalties. Liverpool travel to St James’ Park on Saturday for a lunch-time encounter with Newcastle Utd; 12.45pm kick off UK time.
Alan Pardew’s side failed to win any of their opening seven league games, suffering defeats to Manchester City (h) 0-2, Southampton (a) 0-4, and Stoke City (a) 0-1, and drew with Aston Villa (a) 0-0, Crystal Palace (h) 3-3, Hull City (h) 2-2 and Swansea City (a) 2-2. But The Magpies have won their last two Premier League games, defeating Leicester City at St James’ 1-0 and Tottenham 2-1 at White Hart Lane, as well as beating champions and defending Cup holders Man. City 2-0 away on Wednesday night, so they seem to have found some form at the worst possible time for Liverpool.
The corresponding fixture last season ended in a 2-2 draw despite the Geordies having Yanga-Mbiwa sent off just before half-time, with Gerrard (from the spot) and Sturridge both levelling the score after Cabaye and Dummett twice gave Newcastle the lead. Gerrard’s goal was his 100th in the league for Liverpool and if he plays on Saturday it will be his 27th appearance against Newcastle, moving him level with Ian Callaghan for most appearances against them. His tally of eight goals is the third-most by a Liverpool player against Newcastle (Ian Rush with nine and Michael Owen with 14 are the two players above him).
It will be interesting to see what side Rodgers picks considering we have a trip to Spain to face Real Madrid just three days after this match, which is then followed up with a home fixture against table toppers Chelsea in the Premier League four days later.
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